Piece and Quilt by Christa Watson


Christa Watson of Christa Quilts fell in love with quilting back in 1994 and never looked back! She is now known as an authority on machine quilting and has two recent book releases to support her passion, Machine Quilting with Style and The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting (co-authored with Angela Walters). Christa’s debut Aurifil thread collections pull from her go-to thread 50wt threads in Colors and Neutrals. These collections are the perfect companion for any quilting project!

[illustrations by Sabrina Vincent]

Piece and Quilt Collection: Colors

12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2250 – 1133 – 2920 – 2130 – 2884 – 2886 – 2783 – 2725 – 2520 – 1148 – 4020 – 2425


Piece and Quilt Collection: Neutrals
12 Large Spools, 50 wt, 1422yds/each
2024 – 2311 – 2405 – 2315 – 2615 – 5007 – 2605 – 1246 – 2326 – 5021 – 2372 – 4241


To view this info on our website, click the image above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got started in the world of quilting?
Growing up, my mom was a very talented seamstress and I remember going to the fabric store to pick out funky prints which she would then sew into wild pants and mini skirts for me. (I was into the “mod” style back then – if anyone even remembers what that was!!) But she never made any quilts, so I hadn’t ever seen one before. She tried to get me involved in sewing but I was NOT interested at all. However, I do remember fondly sticking straight pins into the holes of her old Singer sewing machine, wondering where they went…


Fast forward to my early twenties, and my quilting journey started when some church friends invited me to tie quilts for charity. Exploring the fabrics, and making each hand-tied stitch was the most fun, tactile thing I’d ever done. One of these friends invited me over to her house to make a quilted pillow a few weeks later, and I was hooked! It was love at first stitch. I clearly remember my friend showing me how to use her machine which was some brand I had never heard of before – a BERNINA. All these years later I am still a loyal BERNINA fan and I’m also a brand ambassador for the company.

Of course, what comes around goes around, as I discovered many years ago, when I found my young children gleefully sticking straight pins into the holes of my new sewing machine!

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
My first quilt was made for my husband Jason – a simple nine patch made for his birthday during our first year of marriage. (That was 22 years ago!) I remember making one block at a time, with a sewing machine borrowed from my mom. I didn’t know anything about using quarter inch seams, so no two blocks were the same size. But I remember feeling so proud as each block came off of the machine, and he still uses that quilt to this day! I’m kind of embarrassed to share it, but it just goes to show I’ve come a loooong way in my quilting journey!


First Quilt

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I have to give my mom credit here for not punishing me for playing with her pins, buttons and scraps when I was younger. Although it took me awhile to finally find sewing, she was always encouraging me in my crafty endeavors growing up. We tried everything from potato stamp carving and candy making to ceramics and crochet but none of them ever stuck. When I finally found quilting, she was eager to be my first quilting student, which then led me down the path of making quilting my career. After all, if you can teach your mom to do something fun and rewarding, you can teach anyone, right??


Christa’s Pile of Quilts

 What do you love most about the art of machine quilting?
I love seeing the hand of the maker in one’s art, and I enjoy the fact that I can give my quilts a final layer of texture and design, using my own hands. Moving the quilt under the machine is a very meditative process for me, and I don’t worry about perfection as I form each stitch. It all goes back to that tactile quality which I love so much.



You released your first book, Machine Quilting with Style last year, and recently released your second quilting book, The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, co-authored with Angela Walters. What was the process of writing those books like and what did you love most about them?
In both books, I’ve been able to include patterns for not only how to piece the quilts, but how to quilt them, too, so they are both like two books in one. From the start, when I began teaching quilting on a regular basis, I would take my students through the entire process of making a complete quilt, from start to finish.

Writing both of these books has allowed me to take the teaching process I developed over the years and put it into book form, with the enthusiasm and encouragement I offer in my live classes.

Working with Angela on the second book was a fabulous experience. She quilts on a long-arm while I quilt on a sit-down domestic machine, and we both agree that it’s so important for our readers to have fun and not stress while they discover the type of quilting that appeals to them the most.



Do you have a favorite project from the book?
My favorite quilt from Machine Quilting with Style is Facets. It was the first quilt I designed for the book and once I came up with it, I knew I was onto something. It allows you to combine both walking foot quilting and free-motion quilting, which is my favorite way to quilt.

My favorite quilt from The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting is Swirling Butterflies because it’s the first time I made a wholecloth quilt. I really stretched my skills with that one, and I love that both books offer a wide variety of designs for all skill levels. Both quilts were entirely pieced and quilted with Aurifil thread, of course!!


Swirling Butterflies

 If you could recommend one pattern that would be an excellent starting point for machine quilting beginners, what would it be and why?
I would recommend Little Man’s Fancy from Machine Quilting with Style, quilted with “shattered” straight lines. The one block quilt is fast and easy to make and the size is easy enough to handle under the machine for the first time out. Straight lines are quilted haphazardly allover the quilt so the process is super fun and fast and there’s literally no way to mess it up. Whenever I teach beginners I always like to start with walking foot quilting because it gives them the confidence that their quilts can look great with minimal practice and effort. Then, once I have them hooked, I ease them into gradually more complex designs.



Little Man’s Fancy

 When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them? Do you have a favorite color/weight?
I’ve been using them since the summer of 2013 after I kept seeing the name pop everywhere on social media. In all my years of quilting I had never found the brand that was right for everything I wanted to do. When I noticed that all my friends and those I follow were raving about them on social media, I had to give them a try. Once I did, I quickly cleaned out my thread stash and got rid of everything else! In fact, I know the date because I wrote about them on my blog for the first time here.

Christa loves matching her threads to her fabrics!

Christa loves matching her threads to her fabrics!

I love all of the colors of the 50 weight cotton because I can use them for everything I do – piecing, quilting and binding. I like to use matching or blending threads when I machine quilt, so only storing one type of thread for everything really simplifies my quilting life. Plus, any leftover bobbins from machine quilting can be used when I piece or bind my next scrappy quilt. For me, that means no more wasted thread and tons more sewing efficiency!

How did you go about selecting threads for your Piece and Quilt Collection, and what excites you most about the range that you are presenting?
When I first set out to curate my collection, I took a good hard look at the colors I used the most in my own work. When I finally narrowed it down, I realized I had two collections – Colors and Neutrals. As the name implies, these 24 spools can help you make all of your quilts. The colored assortment includes the entire rainbow spectrum so there’s a color for everything. And you’d be surprised how well the colors will blend, even if it’s not an exact match.

Choosing Colors Quilt – Using Christa's favorite colors

Choosing Colors Quilt – Using Christa’s favorite colors

The neutrals include my favorite white and cream, my favorite “almost” black which shows up better on black fabric than pure black, three shades of gray (light, medium, dark), and a range of 6 other neutrals which fill in the gaps. I’ve been experimenting over the last few months, using only these colors from both collections and so far, they’ve been all I need. Like I said, I love simplicity and I hope you will, too!

Christa was the Aurifil Designer of the Month for March 2016. Click on the image below to download her block pattern and learn more about the DOM program!


 8b_Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting     8a_Machine Quilting With Style



To enter-to-win 1 Large Piece and Quilt Aurifil Thread Collection + your choice of either Machine Quilting with Style or The Ultimate Guide to Machine Quilting, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Wednesday, October 26! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Thursday, October 27. Good luck!

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10-focal-pointChrista Watson is an award winning quilter, pattern designer, EQ artist and author who loves to teach others how to successfully quilt on a home sewing machine. She considers herself a cheerleader for the DIY modern aesthetic. She’s heavily involved in both modern and traditional quilt guilds and loves to encourage everyone to enjoy the style of quilting that appeals to them. Christa lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and three children who all think it’s normal to have a house full of fabric. Visit her at ChristaQuilts.com.

Get one of Christa’s free patterns here: http://eepurl.com/BZ3mL

Aurifil 2016 October Designer of the Month Kathy Brown


I’m Designer, Author, Radio show host Pat Sloan.. Our September Designer is the wonderful and amazing Author, fabric designer and teacher Kathy Brown. Her company name is The Teachers Pet, and I imagine you have used her designs, rulers or fabric already!

The last time she was on my talk show was Feb 1, 2016  CLICK to Listen or subscribe by Itunes

Let’s get to know Kathy!

Continue reading

First Blush Blog Hop


Welcome to our stop on the First Blush Blog Tour! We are so excited to showcase this gorgeous debut fabric line by Ruby Red Designs for Windham Fabrics.  First Blush is a celebration of the first bloom of the season. Fresh pinks, aquas and reds bring new life to vintage-inspired prints. Striking ginghams and sunkist dot prints offer a great backdrop to the florals.

The collection accompanies the First Blush Block of the Month by It’s Sew Emma Patterns, a modern 12 month BOM that uses the Starburst 30° Ruler from Creative Grids to create its unique pattern.


We were thrilled to present a coordinating thread box earlier this year. The sweet and bright colors perfectly compliment the cheery prints and are incredibly versatile in our 50wt thread. The collection is available in both a large and a small box. To learn more, check out our collection announcement here.


The fabric will be shipping to stores this month and thread collections are already available. Check in with your favorite retailer for collection availability and to join the BOM.

When Windham first approached us about joining in on the blog hop, we knew that the fabrics should be sent to the fabulous Hilary Jordan, Aurifil‘s Social Media & Quilt Guild Coordinator. Hilary is also the designer behind Young Texan Mama and we just love her style! She took one look at the variety of prints and knew she wanted to make a throw pillow, the perfect accent to the grey chair in her sun-drenched living room.


She settled on a foundation-pieced flying geese pattern that would allow her to alternate between neutrals and pops of color and quilted the cover using Aurifil 50wt thread in 2130 (Medium Butter) from the First Blush collection. She finished the pillow off with a red gingham binding.

We absolutely adore the finished pillow and may just have to put in a special request for one for Aurifil HQ!

Want a chance to win a FQ Bundle and Small thread collection of your very own? Windham and Aurifil are offering one of each at every stop along the blog hop! Pretty awesome, right?


To enter-to-win, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you’d most like to make with the First Blush collections and why. The contest is open to US and International entries and one lucky winner will be chosen at random. The contest ends October 27th, 2016 and winners will be announced on Friday, October 28th, 2016.

We have loved seeing all of the other projects along the blog hop so far! From quilts to mini frocks, each project is simply amazing. Take a moment to check out 
Monday, October 10 – Chris Dodsley at made by ChrissieD
Tuesday, October 11 – Sinta at Pink Pincushion
Wednesday, October 12 –  The Jolly Jabber at Fat Quarter Shop
Thursday, October 13 – Windham/Two Blondes and a Sewing Machine
Friday, October 14 – Jennie  at Clover & Violet
Saturday, October 15 – Aurifil (YOU ARE HERE)
Sunday, October 16 – Tina Egner at Emily Ann’s Kloset
Monday, October 17 – Kristyne Czepuryk  at PRETTY by hand
Tuesday, October 18 – Allison Harris at Cluck Cluck Sew
Wednesday, October 19 – Erin Cox at Why Not Sew?
Thursday, October 20 – Angie Wilson at Gnome Angel
Friday, October 21 – Debbie at Happy Little Cottage
Saturday, October 22– Heidi Staples at Fabric Mutt
Sunday, October 23– Leanne Elliott at daisy and jack handmade
Monday, October 24– Greg Jones at Grey Dogwood Studio
Tuesday, October 25– Wendy Sheppard at Ivory Spring
Wednesday, October 26– Stephanie Lynn Denton at Creative Reveries
Thursday, October 27– Lisa Ruble at Love To Color My World

Thanks so much to Windham and have a wonderful weekend!

Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures by Barbara Eikmeier


Introducing Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures by Barbara J. Eikmeier for Paintbrush Studios. It was created in conjunction with McKim Studios and pairs popular 30s-style prints with the embroidery designs of Ruby Short McKim. Barbara selected 10 different colors of our Aurifloss for her coordinating Aurifil Thread Collection.

Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures

10 Small Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton Aurifloss, 18yds each
Colors included:
1135 – 2720 – 2860 – 2479 – 2515 – 2372 – 3770 – 4661 – 4660 – 5003


To view this info on our website, click the image above. For purchasing, please contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

What first drew you to the quilting world?
I learned to sew in 4-H at the age of 9 and got my first sewing machine when I was 14, so you could say I’ve been a sewer most of my life. I was drawn to quilting by an article by Jean Ray Laurey that I found in one of my mom’s Better Homes and Garden’s magazines – in 1976! I made three or four quilts while still in high school but didn’t really start to quilt for real until after my marriage in 1984 when my neighbor Sue Alwine invited me to join a quilting class at the Salinas Adult Education Center in Salinas, CA. I was 24 years old.

Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
When I was 15, I got my own bedroom and had the walls painted yellow. At our local Ben Franklin store I bought fabric and batting to make a quilt for my bed. It was a Rail Fence block arranged in a Streak of Lightning pattern made in solid red, solid yellow, and red and yellow calico print. The magazine article showed how to enlarge a design with a graph paper grid. But I figured I could do it on my own. I added a 5/8” seam allowance (customary in dressmaking) and made the pattern on tissue paper because everything I had sewn up to that point was dresses and the pattern was always tissue paper. There is hardly a seam that meets in the whole quilt!! I sewed the top right sides together with the backing and turned it with the batting inside and tied it with embroidery floss. It went on my bed and I slept under it for many years. I was proud of my accomplishment but I don’t remember a warm glow or anything special about it. I had set out to make a quilt for my new bedroom and I did it. I still have the quilt. The workmanship is awful – for many years I wouldn’t even show it to anyone. But recently I have had it out and have enjoyed showing it because although the workmanship is dreadful (and what was I thinking with those colors?), the design feels contemporary. I posted the story on my blog here.


Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
I love traditional quilts so turn to antique quilts for my inspiration. I have great admiration for pioneer women who made beautiful quilts with little access to fabric, thread, and tools.

What is your favorite part about the process of quilting and why?
The best part of making a quilt is selecting the fabrics and pattern. I find it stimulating to dig in my fabric bins and find just the right colors to get started. I work from my stash a lot but almost always combine new fabrics with what I have on hand – it seems like the new fabrics really make the quilt come to life and it keeps my same old stash from feeling stale.


Pinwheel Garden Quilt

How did you first connect with Fabri-Quilt and Paintbrush Studios?
I had talked to two other fabric companies about designing fabrics and was in the process of preparing a proposal for one of them when a friend introduced me to the design team at Paintbrush Studio. As it turned out they were looking for someone to design reproduction fabrics. Their offices are located in Kansas City, just 25 minutes from my home. I really like that they are local, family owned, and Kansas friendly.

Crazy Quilt with Fabric & Thread from the Vintage 30s - Ruby's Treasures collections

Crazy Quilt with Fabric & Thread from the Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures collections

What was the inspiration behind your Vintage 30s collection and how did the collection come to be?
Each collection has a special story and the Vintage 30’s collection is all about Ruby Short McKim a popular quilt designer from the 1920s and 30s. Ruby had a cottage industry selling patterns, kits and finished tops and quilts. She was also a columnist for Better Homes and Gardens and published a book of quilt patterns. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of publication of Ruby’s first quilt pattern. I met her granddaughter, Merrily, who runs McKim Studios Revival, and worked with her to write a few magazine articles to help spread the word about the 100th anniversary. In the course of our meetings a reproduction fabric collection came up so I brought a proposal to Paintbrush Studio which resulted in the Vintage 30s Ruby’s Treasures fabrics. Most of the fabrics in Merrily’s collection were solids although there are three prints in the group that are reproduced from Ruby’s fabrics. The rest of the prints came from antique fabric scrap bags I have purchased over the years and a few were parts of two different yo-yo quilts.


Whirligig Quilt

What did you love most about developing the collection?
The best part about creating Ruby’s Treasures was that Merrily gave me access to Ruby’s actual archives where we found scraps of solids bundled in little packages that had been stored since the mid 1930s.By starting with those solids I felt like Ruby herself selected the color palette for this collection. A customer said, “That pink doesn’t really seem like 30s to me.” And yet it is, according to the treasures left from Ruby’s cottage industry! I had two goals for my 30s collection, that the prints were pretty (many 30s prints aren’t really that pretty!) and that they worked well together.

Ruby's Treasures Quilt - Click for Free Pattern

Ruby’s Treasures Quilt – Click for Free Pattern

Do you have a favorite project that was created using this collection?
The collection plus the solids go together nicely and I have enjoyed every project I’ve sewn with it but I think my favorite is the Garden of Nine quilt that I created to showcase the Aurifloss threads. All of the fabrics are used in small amounts and since the thread is matched to the fabric it all worked out beautifully. Denise Mariano’s quilting was done with 50 wt Aurifil which finishes the project with finesse.

Garden of Nine by Barbara Eikmeier

Garden of Nine by Barbara Eikmeier

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I discovered Aurifil thread at a quilt show in Lancaster, PA – it must have been in 2003. There was a vendor who had a big beautiful display of thread and excellent samples in her booth. I bought a thread chart and one spool of neutral colored thread to try it. She promised me I would be back for more. I loved it – the thread was so silky and there was so much less lint in my machine! But I had a hard time finding it in the US – initially it was only available at large shows – internet buying was still young then. The next time I saw it was at the quilt show in Paducah where I found a booth selling small spools – at the time the small spools were the cone from the large spools minus the base. They were like tubes of thread! That booth had these little plastic boxes and a bin of spools where I could fill the box with my own color selections – in hindsight I guess you could say that was my first Aurifil thread collection! The long fibers and fine thread make the 50 wt excellent for appliqué as it doesn’t tangle or break and I don’t need to use beeswax with it as I do with other finer weight brands.

Barbara's Original Spools of Aurifil Thread

Barbara’s Original Spools of Aurifil Thread

Barbara's original Aurifil Color Card

Barbara’s original Aurifil Color Card

Do you have a favorite weight/color?
50 wt. And I have two favorite colors 2310 for my piecing. I now buy it in the great big 6000 yard cones. And 2890 for appliqué – I do a lot of floral designs with green leaves and this green works well with many fabrics! I’ve just learned that there is a new 80 wt thread coming out and am eager to try it for appliqué. I also like the 12 wt for woolwork appliqué. It stitches up beautifully in a hand blanket stitch. And the Aurifloss is great for embroidery – I’m now addicted to 6 strand embroidery floss wound on a spool. My local quilt shop carries Aurifil in many colors and weights so I no longer have to fuss about where I’m going to buy it!


How did you go about selecting colors for this collection?
I went back to those solids from Ruby’s archives for the initial selection of colors. Then I compared them to the new solids we were marketing with Ruby’s Treasures (which are super close to the originals). I was originally going to select 12 wt threads for the packet but when I received the updated thread chart and sample threads from Italy there was a spool of the Aurifloss and I totally changed my mind! After all McKim Studios had licensed two of Ruby’s original embroidery patterns in preprinted panels that we were releasing with the fabric collection so embroidery floss was a perfect fit. I selected a few of the variegated threads because it was hard to choose just 10 colors! In hand embroidery you have the option of using the section of color off the variegated spool for a particular place in the design so by including some variegated I felt like I increased the number of colors in the collection. I especially love the variegated blue.



To enter-to-win 1 Small Aurifil Thread Collection and 1 Paintbrush Studios FQ Bundle for Vintage 30s – Ruby’s Treasures, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Thursday, October 20! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Friday, October 21. Good luck!

WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Pinterest
barb-headshot-4Barbara J. Eikmeier lives in Kansas and she writes.  Both her children write, her daughter-in-law writes and her husband writes. Her two dogs and two cats don’t write but they wish they could because there are things they would like to say. Her nine fish do not wish to write, they like their secret underwater lives.

Barbara also quilts, gardens and bakes pies. Sometimes she has writing deadlines and has to put quilting and baking aside (except for Thanksgiving pies). When pushing a deadline the perennial flower beds take care of themselves – with a little help from her husband.

If it’s between May and Sept and she’s not at the computer, sewing, baking or in the garden, check at Lake Perry, she might be sailing. It’s her other favorite activity.

To learn more about Barb and her adventures, make sure to pop by her website!

Piece for Shelter Pets


October is national Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month and we are thrilled to have joined forces with an amazing team of quilt industry professionals in support of the Petfinder Foundation. We are all animal lovers and have come together to generate awareness for shelter dogs (and cats) in need of “furrever” homes.  We hope that you’ll join us in the Piece for Shelter Pets Blog Hop to learn more and see how you can help!

The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM), an international online only publication,  first partnered with the Petfinder Foundation to form the TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team after Hurricane Sandy. The two organizations help animal shelters affected by disasters by sending Kennel Quilts for the displaced animals. As sewing essentials are needed for Kennel Quilts, we, in addition to Bernina USA, Island Batik Fabrics, Quilty Box, and Benartex Fabrics, have joined the TQPM Kennel Quilt effort to offer addition help to the Petfinder Foundation.

For the past 20 years, Petfinder has helped 25 million pets find their families through adoption. They wanted to use this moment to celebrate their incredible legacy with their shelter and rescue members while inspiring a new generation of pet lovers, just like you. They created a video and pledged to donate $200,000 to the Petfinder Foundation if the video reached 1 million views by October 24, 2016. Thanks to dedication and inspired help of the masses, they have already reached their goal! The donated funds will reward 20 shelter and rescue members with $10,000 grants, allowing them to keep doing the amazing work that they do!

GARY’S STORY (One of the reasons why we do what we do!)img_20160703_224055

Gary is the beloved rescue dog of Elena Gregotti, Aurifil’s CEO. He has been a part of her family for nearly 4 years. He’s a happy and charismatic dog with a great personality, however, before his days of chasing lizards in the Aurifil garden, he lived in Serbia, where he was un-loved and terribly abused.

Luckily for Gary, a family friend, originally from Serbia but now living in Italy, rescued him and brought him to Milano. She posted a photograph of Gary on Facebook asking for help in re-homing him. Elena’s husband saw the resemblance to her childhood dog Rudi, who was also a rescue dog. He had been abandoned on the highway when he was just a puppy and went to live at her family’s country house in Tuscany. Elena has very fond memories of growing up with Rudi. Sadly he passed away a few years ago.

Gary, enjoying a sunny day on the Dolomites

Gary, enjoying a sunny day on the Dolomites

Elena and her family fell in love with Gary, contacted their friend, and he joined their family on November 18, 2012. At first he was unhappy, timid, petrified of men and never played, but over the past four years he has settled in, learned to trust again and enjoys long evening walks around the city. He spends his days being swooned over by the Aurifil office family and enjoys long summer vacations in the Tuscan countryside.

Gary with Elena's son, Jacopo

Gary with Elena’s son, Jacopo

Aurifil‘s first specialty thread box, the Small Kennel Quilt Thread Kit, was launched last year. The cover features Pretty Girl, the TQPM Kennel Quilt “SpokesKitty” and HSPPR (The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region) adoptee, photographed on her Kennel Quilt during the 2013 Colorado fires.


Later this month, at International Quilt Market in Houston, we’ll introduce two new collections in partner with Island Batik, Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds. A portion of the sales of each will go to the Petfinder Foundation.



Bernina of America created a special edition Best Friends sewing machine this year featuring paw prints. They donated $30,000 to the Petfinder Foundation from the sales of the machine.


Island Batik is introducing two new collections, Fifi & Fido and Happy Hounds, at International Quilt Market. A portion of sales will go to the Petfinder Foundation.

Quilty Box will offer special TQPM Kennel Quilt boxes including the fabric and thread needed to make two kennel quilts. The Petfinder Foundation will be the recipient of a portion of their sales.


Benartex will introduce a brand new fabric collection at International Quilt Market featuring Joey the Shop Dog. The line was designed by Joey’s rescue mom, Rose Ann Cook. 10% of sales for Joey’s fabrics will be donated to Petfinder Foundation.

Nan Baker of The Quilt Pattern Magazine, Purrfect Spots and the TPQM Small Kennel Quilt Team was kind enough to share some super sweet photos with us… we love that these kennel quilts are so well loved by all of these darling little fur babies!


To enter to win one of these fabulous prizes, click here. The giveaway is being offered  throughout the full blog hop and you’ll have the opportunity to enter via any of our the participating blogs. It will end at 11:59pm on Tuesday, October 25. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, October 26.

Don’t forget to visit all of the stops along the way for rescue stories, product info, and more!

10/5 – The Quilt Pattern Magazine/Nan Baker of Purrfect Spots
10/7 – Aurifil (You are HERE)
10/12 – Island Batik
10/14 – Quilty Box (Check Facebook & Instagram)
10/19 – Benartex
10/21 – Petfinder Foundation

We are animal lovers and have come together to support shelter animals and perhaps bring a little joy into their lives. Creating a Kennel Quilt is a way to join a larger effort to help our furry friends in times of need by doing what we love. We hope that you’ve been inspired to get involved. If you’d like to join the Small Kennel Quilt Team, please click here.

There are so many shelter animals that need a home.  This is a great time to check with your local shelter for your “furrever” friend or you can check out Petfinder.com. However if you can’t adopt at this time, there are numerous other ways to help and that will be shared on all our blogs. Please join us in this effort and remember… Adopt –don’t shop!

Top Ten Tuesday {Halloween}


It’s October, the Halloween prep is on and we’re feeling particularly spooky around here! We love getting into the holiday spirit by decorating our homes, inside and out, for the season. Halloween throw pillows? Check. Spooky quilts and quilt blocks? Check check. Pumpkin everything? Check!! What are you doing for Halloween? If you’re looking for something fun to make, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites — from things you can make in an afternoon to full size quilts that will keep you feeling spooky for years to come! Which one is your favorite?

1. Epic Halloween Quilt Along — Flying Parrot Quilts


2. Scrappy Pumpkin Table Runner — Andy Knowlton for Thermoweb


3. Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkin Pillow Cover — On Sutton Place


4. Country Bumpkin Halloween Bandana Pumpkin — Sadie Seasongoods


5. Pumpkin Spice Latte Felt Applique — Wild Olive


6. Creepy Critters Halloween Row Quilt — Ellis & Higgs


7. Witch’s Silhouette Halloween Pillow Pattern — The Polkadot Chair


8. Halloween Eyeball Softie — Mucho Xoxo


9. Boos and Ghouls Quilt Along — Bryan House Quilts


10. Halloween Pillow Tutorial — Jedi Craft Girl


Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following  on PinterestFacebook, and Instagram. All are updated regularly to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights, Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

Thread Journey: The Finish!


We’ve so enjoyed following along with Wendy Sheppard‘s Thread Journey. It’s hard to believe the end is here! Ever since the beginning, back in June, we’ve anxiously awaited each post, anticipating the next round of instruction and grabbing sneak peeks at Wendy’s stunning quilting. Today, it’s all about the big reveal! This post is full of so much quilty goodness, we’re simply brimming with excitement. Also, we’re pretty sure that Wendy has some quilty super powers. We’d like to thank Wendy for her kind collaboration, for sharing her expertise with us, and for helping us to push the boundaries of our own quilting practices.

We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong.


Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  Today’s post is my last post on our Thread Journey Quilt-Along.  All in all, I put in about 52 hours on just the quilting portion of the quilt.  It’s been fun and therapeutic for me to work on this quilt.  I personally like the step of quilting the best in the entire process of making a quilt – because I like how quilting adds personality to a quilt.


Thread Journey, before quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

Thread Journey, after quilting

I used the different colors from my Subtle Strings thread collection for constructing, quilting and finishing the quilt.  Hopefully you will be able to see the additional subtle coloring on the quilt from using a variety of thread colors to quilt the quilt.



These pictures were taken after I completed the quilting, but not binding.  But the time of day was right for me to take some outdoor pictures to highlight the quilting.




All the quilting you see is free-hand and free-motion quilted on my Bernina home machine.  My own machine quilting journey actually started with learning feather quilting before I went back and learned the different background motifs.  It was the desire to be able to quilt feathers that started me on my machine quilting journey.


I absolutely love this next picture because it show three of the Subtle Strings colors coming together.


When I first started quilting feathers, I actually drew out every single feather on the quilt.  After quilting many, many, many feathers, I eventually was able to quilt my feathers free-hand.  Nowadays, I might mark where I roughly want my feather spine to be if I am unsure, but I rarely follow the line exactly.  You can sort of see what I mean in the following picture.


Here are a few more pictures.

One huge reason I like quilting is because quilting is an ongoing learning process in that I can look back and track my growth, so to speak.  Looking at the feathers from one of my first feather pieces back in 2008, and compare them to the ones I just quilted on Thread Journey, I feel like my feathers now look like they aren’t too afraid to branch out and be adventurous.🙂

Lastly, you have seen the front pictures… how about a couple of pictures of the quilt back showing the Subtle Strings colors coming through?


That’s it, Friends!  I hope you have enjoyed our Journey together…. till next time! A big shout out to Aurifil, Windham Fabrics and Hobbs Batting for making my Thread Journey Quilt happen!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish! (Today!)

QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014

Showcase Sunday {9.11}


Welcome back to Showcase Sunday, our forum to showcase the beautiful work that all of you do!  We can’t get enough of the beautiful things that you’re making, so keep tagging us and sharing your work and we’ll feature some of our favorites here every other Sunday. Don’t forget to check in on Facebook & Instagram to see more! Happy Stitching:).

(Click on any image below to visit the artist’s Instagram account for more!)









































The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell


Textile artist and designer Rob Appell got his start in the quilting and sewing industry years ago when he landed a job in his Mother’s Quilt Shop, “The Cotton Ball” in Morro Bay, California. He worked as a sewing machine technician and was quickly drawn to the world of quilting. He learned by trial and error and brings a masculine touch to this age old tradition. The man in Man Sewing, Rob now brings an energy and enthusiasm to the business through his terrific YouTube tutorials. He is a longtime user and supporter of Aurifil, singing praises of quality, variety and versatility far and wide.

We were so thrilled to partner with Rob on The High Voltage Collection. Rob assembled 12 of his absolute favorite, can’t-live-without-them, use-them-day-after-day colors in his go-to 40wt.


The High Voltage Collection
12 Large Spools – 100% Aurifil Cotton 40wt, 1094yds each
Colors included:
2024 – 2692 – 2615 – 2210 – 2350 – 2270 – 1133 – 1135 – 2730 – 2805 – 2865 – 5017


To view this info on our website, click the images above. For purchasing, please click here to visit Missouri Star Quilt Co or contact your local Aurifil Dealer.

How did you first get started in the quilting industry?

My mother had purchased a well established quilt shop while I was in college. I came home and ended helping out around the shop while working nights in the restaurant business. So glad to have found this path.


Do you remember the process of creating your first quilt and how you felt once it was finished?
I do, I was so excited to do my free motion machine quilting. That was why I made the quilt top, so super excited to give the FMQ a try. I was hooked in just a few stitches. I look back at those first stitches and just laugh at how poor they were, but I was having fun then, and still am now.

Rob's Man Sewing + Missouri Star Quilt, along with his dog, Winston

Rob’s Man Sewing + Missouri Star Quilt, along with his dog, Winston

How did you first connect with the Missouri Star Quilt Co.?
I was asked if I would like to try to make tutorials like Jenny Doan was doing. They did approach me with a job offer that quickly became an adoption into their fabulous family. Great people to work and create with!

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Jenny Doan and Rob Appell

Who or what has been your greatest creative inspiration?
The past two years have been the best years of my creative journey. Everyday I wake more excited than the day before. I feel so blessed to have the job that I have and to get to inspire people with my quilting and sewing. I pull from nature, friends and family, humor, to state a few when being inspired, but at this point the feeling of success in my studio is more motivating than anything I have experienced before.


And the Flag Was Still There by Rob Appell

What do you love most about connecting with others via your show, Man Sewing?
I love that I get to be creative and create a wide variety of sewing and quilting related projects. The YouTube audience is so broad that I can enjoy presenting the craziest projects in the simplest of ways.

On the set of Man Sewing

On the set of Man Sewing

Do you have a technique that you favor?
I was very into fusible applique to create landscape quilts, but as I improve on my piecing I am enjoying doing more patchwork. The Applique quilts almost dictate the free motion process, where the patchwork quilts push me as a machine quilter too. I must try to be creative with the style, but it all shows up so much more.

When did you first discover Aurifil threads and what do you love most about them?
I use to sell the threads in my Mom’s quilt shop – everyone said it was the best. Then I met Alex while I displaying my Endangered Species Quilts, his booth was across from my quilts and we hit it off.

Do you have a favorite weight/color? 
I love the 40 wt as I do so much machine quilting. My favorite color is green, but to pick just one spool would not be fair.


How did you go about selecting colors for this collection? 
I took the whole color card and put a highlighter on my favorite colors. Then I had to go through and pick just the best. I wanted the collection to be able to work with just about anything from my personal stash. So far so good, I love having the different color families to choose from, and of course the stuff quilts like a dream.


Do you FMQ? Don’t forget to tag #FMQMania on Instagram!



To enter-to-win The High Voltage Collection by Rob Appell, click here to head to the Rafflecopter entry page, or simply click on the image above. You do not have to complete all the options to be entered but the more options you choose, the more entries you have!  Entries will be accepted from now through 11:59pm Eastern Time on Friday, September 16! Winner will be randomly selected and announced here on Saturday, September 17. Good luck!

Update: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, Afton Warrick!! 

WebsiteFacebookInstagram — Twitter — YouTubePinterest

ROB Headshot 2Rob Appell is the host of Man Sewing.  He’s a guy with boundless energy and enthusiasm for life and creativity.  He loves God, his wife, son and daughter. He enjoys waking up excited each day to see what lies ahead. He’s happiest when he’s outside or in my studio. He has been told that he inspires others and for that he feels very blessed.

What is Man Sewing?  Well, Rob is a man who loves to sew and he’s proud of it.  He is passionate about sewing and creativity and has a desire to teach, so he wants to share his passion with you.  Is Man Sewing just for men?  Absolutely not.  Rob is just a man who sews.  Join him every Monday for a new tutorial where you’ll use your hands, get covered in thread and create something completely new.  It’s high voltage edu-tainment at its finest.  Where creativity meets caffeine.  It’s Man Sewing.

[For more, please visit the Rob’s Website]

** Images and all biographical text are courtesy of Rob Appell and Man Sewing.

Thread Journey: Process of Quilting, Part 4


We are quickly approaching the end of our Thread Journey Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard. It has been an amazing process thus far and we’ve been so impressed with the progress you’ve all been making. We’re so excited to see your finished quilts, so  don’t forget to tag us when you share your photos —  Wendy (@ivory_spring), Aurifil (@aurifilthread)and #threadjourneyquiltalong. As always, we are so grateful for Wendy’s instruction and kind collaboration.

Have fun and happy stitching!

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Hello Quilting Friends, I hope you have been well.  We are nearing the end of our Thready Journey Quilt Along together.  I hope you have enjoyed the journey, as I have mine.  I have used this quilt to practice in taking the time and being more careful when I quilt.  My daughter’s violin teacher has always admonished her to play sloppy.  So I have used my Thread Journey quilt as a personal challenge to not quilt sloppy.


With that, let’s move on to quilting the outer border, shall we?

a.  How I am going to quilt mine

Applique Portion:
As in quilting the quilt center, I used the tree branch as the “spine” for my feather plumes, and I would occasionally add more branches with my quilting.

Here is my chicken-scratched schematic showing what’s going on.


And here is how they are stitched out in real life.  You will notice that instead of pebbles, I am echoing around the feathers. I have also used different color threads from my Subtle Strings collection to quilt various areas of the outer border.





I learned a few important things from quilting this quilt:

— feathers + pebbles = feathers don’t stand out as much
— feathers + tightly quilted echos = feathers POP!


feathers with pebbles


Feathers with tightly quilted echoes

For this quilt, I challenged myself to quilt the echoes really tight.  These echoes are about 1/16″ each apart, sometimes less, most likely because the pebbles I had quilted weren’t teeny-tiny.  I suspect the same popping effect would be apparent if the pebbles were quilted 1/16″ across too.🙂 This next photo shows an add-on I quilted coming off one of the feather plumes with tight echoing.


The Rest of the Border:
Now, there is a lot of empty space in the border!  I mulled over many options.  I decided to keep the feather quilting theme, except this time instead of plumes, I am confining the feathers to randomly placed wreaths.

Here is a quick schematic.


Here you see I am using my dishes to mark two differently sized circles.


Here is the feather wreath quilted out.  I am quilting REALLY tiny pebbles to see if the feathers will pop as much as when echoes are used as background quilting.


b.  Other options: You may definitely use some of the ideas suggested for quilting the quilt center for the border, as previously discussed.

1.  Nifty little “S” – This is my interpretation of McTavishing using a domestic machine.  Click here to see my stitching path.


2.  Pebbles – I like to mix in different sizes of pebbles (circles) — the visual effect is always striking when pebbles are quilted.  Click here to see what I mean.  I do want to note that the circles do not all have to be perfectly round.  In fact, for me it’s impossible to quilt circles free-motion perfectly round.  So I find pebbling is a really forgiving motif to quilt.


3.  Sand dunes – I like sand dunes because it is echoing without the stress of keeping the distance even, and I can quilt the dunes far apart for a quick finish.  Click here to see how to quilt sand dunes.


4.  What I think might be really cute is to quilt random circles on the rest of the border.  Click here for a method you can use to mark your circles without actually marking it.


5.  How about quilting Ohio Star on the rest of the border?  I think that would be so visually striking as well.



That’s all I have for today!  I was shooting to have my quilt completely finished with the binding and hanging sleeve sewn on and everything, but unfortunately I didn’t get that far ahead.  I have a few areas on the outer border left to cover.  I will be showing you pictures of the completed quilt VERY soon, so stay tuned!


– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

June 2: Thread Journey: Quilt Along with Wendy Sheppard
June 16: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 1
June 30: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 2
July 14: Thread Journey: Quilt Construction, Part 3
July 28: Batting & Thread
August 11: Process of Quilting, Part 1
August 18: Process of Quilting, Part 2
August 25: Process of Quilting, Part 3
September 8: Process of Quilting, Part 4
September 15: The Finish!

QBV03_PieceBlock_12_crop_smallWebsite — Instagram
Originally from Southeast Asia, Wendy came to the US for her tertiary education.  After her degrees in Chemical Engineering, she worked in research in a wind tunnel for a spell.  Nowadays, she is a stay/work-at-home Mom to a 7 year old.  Wendy’s designs have been featured in major quilting publications, both home and abroad.  She is also an author for Landauer Publishing, as well as an online quilting instructor.  She is passionate about encouraging quilters to enjoy their quilting journey.  During her free time, she loves to read history, and indulges in hand needlework.

ABOUT SUBTLE STRINGS: (Wendy’s 2015 Aurifil Thread Collection)

12 Large Spools of 100% Aurifil Cotton, 50wt
Colors included:
2310 – 2847 – 4060 – 2130 – 2715 – 5021
2210 – 2510 – 2886 – 2326 – 2423 – 5014